tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS September 15, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
rly fiorina. outsourcing jobs. out for herself. [ barbara boxer ] i'm barbara boxer and i approve this message. >> yes, we will! >> couric: tonight, two for tea. two party candidates score big upset victories in two key primary contests as they ride a wave of voter anger across america. i'm katie couric. also tonight, how angry are voters? our new poll finds a record number want to dump their representative in congress. in connecticut, on trial for a horrifying home invasion that led to a triple murder. >> we have a lady who is in our bank right now who says that her husband and children are being held at their house. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric.
>> couric: good evening, everyone, american voters are in one angry mood. it's evident at the polls and in the polls. look at this. a cbs news/"new york times" poll out tonight find a record 55% of american voters say it's time for their representative in congress to go. they don't like what the incumbents are doing. 58% disapprove of the democrats, 68% disapprove of the republicans. nearly three out of four registered voters say they're dissatisfied with or angry about what's going on in washington. and some of that feeling was reflected in yesterday's primaries with victories by candidates supported by the tea party. in delaware's republican senate primary, christine o'donnell beat g.o.p. establishment candidate mike castle. in new york's republican gubernatorial primary, tea party support helped carl paladino defeat rick lazio. and in new hampshire, kelly ayotte just barely beat tea party favorite ovide lamontagne for the republican senate nomination.
it is 48 days and counting until the election and congressional correspondent nancy cordes begins tonight's coverage. >> reporter: within minutes of christine o'donnell's stunning victory, a debate was raging in the republican party over whether to fund her... >> i also want to thank the tea party express. >> reporter: ...or disavow her. >> i'm really not concerned about that because we didn't have their support when we won. >> reporter: o'donnell, a political novice who g.o.p. leaders have described as everything from a liar to delusional has provided by beleaguered democrats with a new national rallying cry. >> look, last night showed that there's a very vociferous debate going on inside the republican party for the hearts and mind of republican voters. >> reporter: o'donnell becomes the seventh tea party-affiliated candidate to defeat a more mainstream republican in a senate primary this season. six tea partyers have won primaries for governor.
carl paladino of new york joined their ranks last night. but republican leaders are keeping their distance from him, too, after he named his dog his chief of staff and proposed that welfare recipients be housed in unused prisons. >> new yorkers are as mad as hell. ( cheers and applause ) and we're not gonna take it anymore! >> reporter: in delaware, o'donnell beat a veteran moderate congressman who was considered a general election shoe-in. polls show o'donnell's ultra-conservative social views... >> lust in your heart is committing adultery. >> reporter: ...make her a decided underdog in this blue- leaning state. >> given christine o'donnell's background i have a very difficult time supporting her. i think i'd be more likely to cross party lines in this situation. >> reporter: and that's giving new life to the democrat in the race, chris coons. >> she's a difficult sort of republican than i expected. >> reporter: republicans have a
narrow window to take back the senate and it involves picking up ten seats. if they don't win in delaware, that window is all but closed, katie? >> couric: nancy cordes on capitol hill. nancy, thanks very much. jeff greenfield is our is senior political correspondent, bob schieffer our chief washington correspondent and anchor of "face the nation." jeff, let me start with you. tea party supporters, as we've seen, have taken down a number of more established republican candidates who seem to have a better chance of winning in the general election. why have they been so influential? >> because, katie, primarily the tea party folks are not republicans, they're conservative anti-establishment types. types and here's one key. while our poll shows most americans favor a smaller government over a bigger one with more services, tea party folks feel overwhelmingly that way and they're angry at republicans republicans who back bank bailouts and industry bailouts and anything that look like working with obama and democrats. they were happy to take down senator bennet from utah, lisa
murkowski from alaska and representative castle from delaware. >> couric: bob, as robert gibbs said and many other people have asked, is this going to be a fight for the heart and soul of the republican party? >> i think it very much is just that. i mean, it's very much like 1964. in 1960, republicans lost narrowly with an establishment candidate richard nixon, they got to 1964, they threw out all the establishment candidates, they threw out their party leaders and they nominated barry goldwater who-- fine man-- but he was far to the right of most of the people in his party and they lost in a landslide. that's why you have establishment republicans worried about what's going to happen now in november. >> couric: jeff, our poll shows 29% of registered voters have an unfavorable view of the tea party. 23% favorable. most people, by the way, don't have an opinion. how do you think this will play
out or change come november? >> i think it means most people aren't focusing on this election. the tea party impact has been in republican primaries. but we're about to find out over the next several weeks is whether the candidates they've helped pick are seen as too far out or whether this dissatisfaction that our poll shows ultimately persuades independence and some depths to go with those candidates. >> couric: finally, bob, let's talk about the sarah palin affect. how potent is an endorsement from the former vice presidential candidate? our poll has some interesting information about that. >> you know, it really did. what it showed was her endorsement was valuable in these republican primaries because tea party people, 56% of them, have a favorable opinion of her. 50% of republicans in general. but it stops there. when you get to general voters, voters in general, only 21% give her a favorable rating. the other party, katie, and maybe the most interesting part in all of this, is the republicans are looking for a leader. when we ask people who best represented the republican
party, 62% said they didn't know sarah palin got 6%, john mccain 5%, newt gingrich 4%. that tells you that the republicans right now are looking for a leader. >> couric: it's a wide-open race. all right, bob schieffer and jeff greenfield. gentlemen, thank you both so much. here's one of the most telling numbers in our new poll. 60% of americans say the country is heading in the wrong direction. as for the president, his job approval rating is just 45% and with nearly 15 million people out of work, dean reynolds tells us it's all about the economy. >> reporter: the economy remains the number-one problem to most americans and only one in five thinks it's improving. >> no, it's not being fixed. it's being smoothed over to make it look good, to make it look like people are filling jobs. >> we're kind of stalled right now. we need to move in some direction. >> reporter: other sobering findings for the white house:
only 38% think the president has a clear plan for creating jobs and some 46% think the obama stimulus package has had no impact. 20% think it made matters worse. but 63% say mr. obama is doing about as well as they expected. >> it's too soon to make any final assessment of his presidency. i think he will be better and better as time passes. >> reporter: actually, the country still blames the bush administration for the condition of the economy followed by wall street. and only 27% believe congressional republicans are doing more to improve things. compared to 49% who say that about the president. sam greco is a retired chicago detective. do you think the republicans have a plan? >> nothing that comes to the forefront, and this is what bothers me. >> reporter: nor, apparently, is the country with the republicans on taxes. while the g.o.p. favors extending tax cuts for all income brackets, 53% of americans believe tax cuts should end for those with
incomes above $250,000, as the president has proposed. a mixed report card with the midterms approaching. dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago. >> couric: turning now to this unusually active hurricane season, we're following three big storms tonight. two are category four hurricanes, igor and julia, churning in the atlantic with winds peaking at 135 miles an hour. igor could hit bermuda on sunday while tonight more than 2,000 miles west, tropical storm carl is pounding mexico's yucatan peninsula. in the gulf of mexico, it's been two months now since the b.p. oil well stopped leaking and it could be killed once and for all by sunday. the government's point man, thad allen, said today the relief well is nearly complete. over the weekend, mud and cement will be pumped in to permanently seal it. also today, the obama administration ordered oil and gas companies to permanently plug more than 3,000 abandoned wells in the gulf to prevent new leaks.
victims of the gulf spill have been up in arms, complaining they're forced to wait too long to be compensated and kelly cobiella reports the man in charge of paying claims got a real earful today. >> you've killed my working class business. >> reporter: for two hours straight, one frustrated business owner after another told kenneth feinberg, the administrator of the $20 billion fund to compensate victims of b.p.'s oil spill, that his system for paying claims is broken. >> our worst fear was that we would get to this point in the season and not have any money. and we are there. >> i am begging, begging for your help. i needed a check yesterday. >> reporter: whine feinberg took over the claims three weeks ago, he promised checks to individuals in 48 hours and businesses in seven days. jenny and chris sherill filed their claim for their once- thriving beach wedding company august 23. >> i'm hopeful.
>> reporter: three weeks later, they still have no check and, perhaps worse, no answers. >> just completely let down and definitely not hopeful anymore. >> reporter: before feinberg took over, b.p. paid out $395 million. in the past three weeks, feinberg has paid $185 million. but of the 60,000 claims before him, half-- 30,000-- are still being processed despite his promises of a quick resolution. only 16,000 have been paid, and another 14,000 have insufficient paperwork to back them up. >> you don't have to beg, i'll leave today with your claims and i'll expedite it. >> reporter: feinberg vows he'll find a way to get checks out faster. >> we can do better. i want to do better. >> reporter: but for many here, promises and apologies only go so far. >> our creditors won't take an apology for payment. >> right. >> reporter: feinberg was short on specifics about how to fix it, but with businesses already
folding, he says he understands the urgency. katie? >> couric: kelly cobiella in orange beach, alabama tonight. kelly, thank you. there's also late word from washington tonight. cbs news has learned president obama will appoint wall street critic elizabeth warren to a new position in the treasury department. she will oversee creation of a new consumer protection agency. that role does not require confirmation by the senate where warren would have faced republican opposition. now turning to a humble hero. army staff sergeant salvatore junta is the first living person to be awarded the metal of honor since the vietnam war. but today, he told reporters he's just an average soldier. three years ago while wounded and under enemy fire in afghanistan he pulled a fellow soldier to safety and rescued a second who had been carried away by insurgents, though that soldier later died. with his wife at his side, guinta said the award is
bittersweet. >> well, all of this is great but it does bring back then, you know, a lot of memories of all the people that i would love to share this moment with and i'm just not going to have that opportunity because they're no longer with us. and they gave everything for their country. >> couric: the medal of honor is the nation's highest military honor, awarded for conduct above and beyond the call of duty. and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," a connecticut doctor tells a jury how his wife and two daughters were murdered in a horrific home invasion. and later, one of the most popular hobbies in america-- strictly for the birds and those who watch them. (announcer) no matter what life throws at you, you can take the heat. 'til it turns into heartburn, you've got what it takes: zantac. it's strong, fast lasting relief. so let them turn up the heat.
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and those people are what i like to call wrong. metamucil is the only leading fiber supplement with psyllium, which gels to help remove waste and reduce cholesterol. metamucil. ask more of your fiber. >> couric: it was a horrible crime that shook the entire state of connecticut. police say two men broke into the home of a prominent physician, tied him up and beat him then killed his wife and two daughters in their home in the town of cheshire. the first of two defendants charged with the 2007 murders is on trial in new haven and tonight elaine quijano tells us the jury heard chilling 911 tapes. >> reporter: this chilling bank surveillance tape shown in court shows jennifer hawke petit minutes before her death as she withdraws $15,000 she nervously
alerts the teller that she's getting the money for men holding her family hostage. as mrs. petit walked away, a bank manager called 911. >> reporter: by the time the police encountered the suspects at the petit home 33 minutes later, mrs. petit and her daughters 11-year-old mikayla and 17-year-old hayley were dead. mrs. petit had been raped and strangled. her daughters died after inhaling smoke as their home was set on fire. her husband, who had been beaten and bound, barely escaped to a neighbor's house. >> reporter: questions today centered around why the police took so long to try to rescue the family. an officer testified they were following hostage protocol. dr. william petit was the sole survivor of the brutal home
invasion. earlier this week, he testified the men, steven hayes and joshua komisarjevsky were strangers who threw him in the basement almost immediately. the suspects wanted to plead guilty in exchange for life sentences but dr. petit would not agree. since his family was killed, he has advocated to keep the death penalty in connecticut. >> what the defense is going to try to do is try to paint a picture, they're going to try to show him as somebody who has... >> reporter: now, here in connecticut, the legislature voted to get rid of the death penalty last year, but the governor vetoed the bill so the death penalty remains in place. now this case is being viewed as a referendum on the issue and this trial for the first defendant, steven hayes, is expected to last about a month. katie? >> couric: elaine quijano. elaine, thank you. in other news, long-time nbc news correspondent edwin newman has died. in more than 30 years at the
network as a reporter, anchor, and moderator of "meet the press," newman covered every major story of his era, including the assassination of president kennedy. >> reporter: newman was a stickler for good writing. he hated cliches and misuse of the english language. don't dare use hopefully as an adverb. a sign in his office read "abandon hopefully all ye who enter here." edwin newman was 91. newman was 91. ferent -- it's calcium citrate, so it can be absorbed with or without food. citracal. fortunately, there's new crest pro-health clinical gum protection toothpaste. it helps remove plaque at the gumline, helping prevent gingivitis. and it's even been clinically proven to help reverse it in just four weeks. new crest pro-health clinical toothpaste.
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>> couric: flu season is here again. it starts when kids go back to school, so now is the time to get vaccinated. the c.d.c. says this year's vaccine will protect against three influenza strains, including the h1n1 virus that caused so much illness last season. more than 160 million doses are being made. with that in mind, a new study says that if you're popular, it's especially important to be vaccinated. researchers found that popular people with lots of friends are more likely to be exposed to the flu and pass it on. so the word is enjoy your friends but get your shot. if you are out of work, careers.com has some advice-- put more work into your resume and don't do this. one job seeker insisted on bringing his pet monkey to work. another e-mail address contained the words "lovesbeer." and a third told a potential employer "i'll have your job in five years."
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>> couric: finally tonig >> couric: finally tonight, we're down to the final week of summer and for birds that means the fall migration has begun. it's peak season for bird watching. this is no casual activity. in fact, mark vas man tells us it's one of the most popular competitions in america. ( bird calling ) >> reporter: for every backyard birder out there, this is nature's symphony. >> i had a hooded warbler. >> cool. >> reporter: greg mason is one of 48 million american birders, amateur audubons, they know a scarlet tanager from a rose- breasted grosbeak. or in this case... a green heron. >> reporter: that gets you jazzed, doesn't it? ( laughter ) >> it does! the thing is you start doing this, and you go to kookytown. >> reporter: kookytown or just quirky-town, this is the annual
great texas birding classic, a spirited competition for more than 200 birders. teams keep score on the honor system, spot the greatest variety of birds, you win. >> i love to win. i'm not going to kid. ( laughs ) i love to win. >> reporter: competitors can identify different species by site or sound, it's called ear- birding. if you're if it to win it, the birder to beat is bill baker. this bill baker, the classic's five-time defending champion. >> you going to take the left, andy? i'll take the right side. >> reporter: his three-man team will cover 2,000 miles in five days. >> it's quick pace. we don't sit in one spot very long. >> reporter: and baker scout it is entire course before the competition begins. w every team is going to find the bird you would expect to find. and so you have to go beyond what's expected in order to win. >> reporter: mention baker's name and many birders here lose
their bravado. you're going to have to beat him. >> i am. >> reporter: is it possible? >> um... >> reporter: come on. >> yes. >> reporter: it is? >> yes. >> reporter: this year? >> no! >> reporter: she was right. baker won again spotting 308 different species, proving that with both birds and birders there is a pecking order. mark strassmann, cbs news, high island, texas. >> couric: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric. thanks for watching. see you tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. caption colorado, l.l.c. firstname.lastname@example.org she was screaming, help, help, help, help. >> nursing home patients abandoned as people ran from the raging fire in san bruno. the father and son who risked their own lives to come to their rescue. >> for the first time the governor gets a firsthand look at the disaster as pg&e face tough questions about what it knew and when. >> not like you can just run out and leave the baby. >> some moms say it's a safety issue. the push to get special parking privileges for their nannies. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm dana king. it has been another emotional day for the people who lost their homes in the san bruno pipeline blast. today residents were allowed a two-hour visit to co